I am hopeful that this considering cloth series is somewhat helpful for those navigating the diaper scene. I must admit, there are many terms to learn and lots of shorthand in the diaper community. I do not even want to get into how long it took me to figure out what the term "sposies" meant. Its embarrassing in hindsight. But, my mistakes might just be your gain! One category I heard a lot about but about which I had no firsthand knowledge is the AIO, or all in one diaper. So, for this installment we will get down and dirty with some AIO deets.
Laundry is one of life's great companions. Regardless of how much or little clothing you own, laundry is always there for you. As you journey through life the items change but the laundry remains constant. Sometimes you take it out for a trip to a Laundromat, other times you visit friends or family together, and if you are lucky, you are able to care for it in the comfort of your own home. If you are considering cloth diapers for a wee human in your life, your laundry may be a stressful topic. As we Covered in Cloth Diaper Care: Part Two diapers are treated a bit differently than standard laundry because they have a different function than shirts and pants. If you plan to invest in cloth diapers it is important to know how to properly care for them to retain their value and that value is tied to the effectiveness of the material to keep urine and feces contained.
If you are looking for an alternative to disposable diapers, you might be considering cloth. Cloth diapers are an option for those looking to decrease their environmental footprint and focus their consumption on reusable items. You may be imagining wrapping baby up in large sheets of linen that must be fold just so, stabbing yourself with diaper pins trying to fasten them, and the horrible smell of the plastic or "rubber" pants. I am here to tell you, cloth diapers are so much more than that. Its 2019, this is the age of the cloth diaper. Cloth manufacturers have listened to care givers and potential parents and cloth is now a huge range of products that are made to fit the needs of each child and family. On the scene today: pocket diapers. Be prepared to be amazed by the ease of use and customizable features of pocket style diapers.
Appliques can add an element of whimsy to a standard garment or accessory. I enjoy creating these fun add ons and then sewing them to projects that match their personalities. Patterns for appliques can be simple, like the heart featured here, or highly complex pieces of art and design.
My daughter loves hearts, especially pink or shiny hearts, so this shape just makes sense to add to my line-up. Since creating this shape requires both basic and intermediate crochet stitches to complete its a great way to work on your skills in a quick project.
To complete this applique, you will need a small amount of yarn and a crochet hook sized appropriately for the yarn. Remember that the weight of the yarn and the size of your hook will determine the size of the finished applique. It is important to leave a long tail for sewing the applique to your project.
To begin, make magic circle.
Then, in circle, chain 2, 2dc, 2hdc, sc picot sc, 2hdc, 2dc, chain 2 ss in circle, ch 1 join with ss to top of chain 2.
Tighten magic circle and finish off your yarn.
I recommend weaving the end of the tail into the next stitch to secure the shape.
There are plenty of variations of hearts available on both Pinterest and Ravelry.com that will bring you hours of fun and add plenty of creative spirit to your projects.
If you have read my other posts on cloth diapers you may have caught on to one theme in my personal love affair with cloth diapers: I like things that are easy and affordable. If you are considering cloth diapering you may be shopping for prefolds or fitteds, pricing pockets and all in ones, figuring costs of water and detergent. One thing I would add to your list: search your house for anything made out of cotton fleece.
When determining how to best diaper baby it is important to keep their bottom happy. You need to keep those buns dry, you will need to catch that poop and get it to the toilet, and you may need to use lotion or ointment that could be harmful to your diaper's absorbency. If you wonder about the last one, trust me, do not let anything come into contact with your diapers that is meant to coat and stay put, it is the enemy of all things absorbent. Let me save you from learning this the hard way, liners are worth their weight in gold.
When it comes to liners I have a love affair with cotton fleece.
Fleece is a cloth diaper's best buddy. You can find super soft thin fleece for a couple bucks a yard at Joann's or cut up some old items or scraps you find around the house. Why fleece? Liquids go right through fleece to the absorbent layer of the diaper leaving solids, creams, and anything else behind. If you doubt me on the beauty that is fleece take a look at some pocket diapers. That fabulous inner material that makes you jealous of your babies bottom is fleece. The softest of these are usually bamboo cotton blends or even hemp cotton blends, but brushed cotton fleece in any form is heaven.
You may now be thinking, I could use any fabric to achieve this barrier, why does it matter that it be fleece? And you are correct, any non absorbent fabric, disposable liner, or even thick toilet paper could do this job. But, there are specific advantages to a good fluffy fleece. I found that solid waste does not stick to fleece as readily as it may other materials (not necessarily true if you are dealing with semi-solid to liquid/peanut butter fecal matter). To dispose of most solids caught on the fleece you need only hold your diaper liner over the toilet and shake. Flushing the all the solids away safely and easily. The liner can then be washed and dried with diapers. In addition to its power to catch poop, cotton fleece also maintains and even improves its super soft and fluffy surface each time it is washed and dried, similar to your favorite towel.
Creating a barrier between poop and your potentially pricy diapers (looking at you fitteds and all in ones) also protects your investment from stains or other damage from scraping or spraying fecal material from the surface. You can continue to use liners in swim diapers, training underwear, etc as baby grows and needs change.
Now that we have tackled the what and the why, its time to get down to the how. To make a fleece liner, grab some fleece and a sharp pair of scissors. Consulting one of your diapers or using a ruler, cut your fleece into strips around 4 inches wide and 10 inches long (10cm x 25cm). Wash and dry your strips and they are ready to go. Storing a small stack of 5-10 liners near your diapers will save you trouble as you navigate the needs of baby and keep your diapers absorbency safe through hundreds of washes.
Recently I have had the pleasure of meeting many parents who use cloth and many more who are or were "considering cloth." I think the process of discernment for parents is critical to the success of the options we choose for our children. Taking time to think through the pros and cons of a strategy allows for confident problem solving and a desire to overcome obstacles. Strategies are adjusted as we learn and grow as parents in order to meet the ever changing needs of our children.
Sleep routines, nutrition, exercise, and diapering are all challenging aspects of life with small children. Some children sleep through the night soon after birth (though I cannot speak from experience on that), others have varied patterns coinciding with milestones or life events, while a smaller set appear to be entirely nocturnal. Parents are taught to feed their children what they need, and those needs change as they grow and gain teeth. Tummy time turns to baby proofing the entire house as baby becomes mobile. As parents we have confidence to find sleep, food, and exercise solutions that work for everyone involved, and we understand that what works for one parent might not work for us.
As I spoke with parents about struggles with their children several told me they have issues with diapers: leaking overnight, foods causing rashes and diaper blowouts, and inner thigh rub once baby started crawling. I suggested a possible strategy: cloth diapering. Some parents told me they "considered cloth" but decided it was too difficult, too gross, or expensive. This, I think, is one major hurdle that parents face: the all or nothing approach to diapering. In reality, cloth may work for you for bedtime, but not for day-time, or vice versa. It may be perfect for grandma's house, but not on vacation. Trying out a cloth diaper does not mean you need to switch to cloth full-time, you may only own one or two, and you do not need to do it forever. Like every other aspect of parenting, diapering needs to fit your lifestyle and the needs of your child.
This post is focused on the possible strategies for night-time diapering (though I am working on more to address additional opportunities to test out cloth). Night is difficult because you want to sleep. Sleep is a universal desire parents have and in order to achieve good sleep we need to not wake up to a puddle of urine. Most diapers can hold a considerable about of urine and can hold their own with baby. The difficulty, however, is with a child that will fill a diaper during the night and then lay around just to fill it again. Parents of these "heavy wetters" know the scene, the well-meaning diaper fought hard but eventually lost, leaving a puddle in the crib or bed and an unhappy kiddo.
Sleep is a universal desire parents have and in order to achieve good sleep we need to not wake up to a puddle of urine.
One good short-term solution: one size diaper cover. These covers can be worn over the top of a disposable diaper and add an extra waterproof barrier. These covers can be made from pul, tpu, or wool depending on your preference. Worn over a disposable they need minimal cleaning and can be hung to dry and be worn again the following night (unless poop has come into contact). Covers come in great colors and are thin so they will not cause any issue with the fit of sleep clothes.
*Bonus Tip* pul and tpu one size covers can also be used as swim diapers and come in handy during potty training.
Second strategy: A dedicated "heavy wetter" overnight diaper which is all cloth. These diapers can be a pocket style which have a microfiber insert or two that can absorb a tremendous amount of urine and a thick waterproof cover. Fitted diapers are another night-time friend, bamboo cotton fitted diapers can be paired with a one-size cover to absorb an absurd amount of urine. These diapers can be laundered daily, and since most children do not poop in their sleep, require nothing other than a good wash in the machine. Having three of these diapers will allow for laundry every two days rather than daily. Major pro: a pocket style heavy wetter looks and operates similar to a disposable to keep diaper changes simple. They are slightly bulkier than a disposable but do not expand and droop as they gain moisture.
Third Strategy: A mix of materials to reach the absorbency you need. A good one-size cover, an inexpensive prefold cotton diaper or two, wrapped around a high absorbency material insert (bamboo, hemp, or microfiber), and a positive attitude. This solution is a bit bulkier but employs natural fibers which can also keep rashes at bay. It is also an opportunity to customize the diaper to your own preferences: budget, materials composition, fit, etc.
For parents considering these solutions: The biggest player in the success of these strategies is your waterproof layer. Using wool will require some knowledge of wool care and a bit of patience. If you choose pul or tpu covers I recommend good quality 0ne-size wraps with double gusseted legs, elastic in the back of the waistband, and snaps (kids learn to remove velcro quite quickly). Covers can be purchased in sizes based on weight or as "one-size" which adjust with a series of snaps. One-size covers are a one time investment and can be worn by babies 7-35lbs comfortably. Night-time is a great time to experiment with cloth as its only a few diapers a week and, like all cloth, they can be washed along with baby laundry. If you have a child prone to rashes overnight (especially those who are still eating at night) you may want to use a fleece liner inside either your disposable or cloth diaper solution to keep skin dry and happy all night. Another great thing about fleece liners with cloth is you can use any diaper cream or oil and it will not affect the absorbent properties of the diaper.
Cloth diapering is not an all or nothing, its a tool that can be used to help solve the problems that arise on the journey of parenthood. Got a great tip or story to share about diapering at night? Add your comment below, no sense in keeping your wisdom to yourself!
There are few words that could not be attributed to my life-long best friend. Amazing, yep, challenging, you betcha, infuriating, that is an understatement. But my favorite word for her, is grandma. The luck of my birth has been felt continuously as I spent my days with this woman. Thousands of children are born every day, thousands more people die, move away, get too busy, forget their responsibilities, check out on their families, you get it. How I was the one to be born in my place, at my time, to my family, boggles my mind.
dual color (color one is leaves, color 2 is flower petals)
hook size USG6/ 4.00mm
color 1 (grey)
turn and hdc in 9th chain from hook, *chain 2, skip 2, hdc * across, turn (it will look like a ladder at this point)
turn, chain 2 ss in top of hdc, chain 5, ss same stitch; repeat 5 more times, chain 2, ss in next, turn.(base for 6 leaves)
ss back to ch 2 space, *6 dc, ch 3, 6dc, ss to chain 2 space* 6 times. fasten off (6 leaves complete)
switch to color 2
join to far end, *chain 3, 3 hdc, chain 3, ss in same chain 2 space, ss to next chain 2* 15 times; *chain 4, 4 dc, chain 4, ss in same space, ss to next chain 2* across to color 1. fasten off leaving long tail for sewing.
roll up to form flower and sew together using tail.
add it to an adorable bonnet for maximum vintage appeal!
Dollars to donuts you are looking for ways to save money as often as possible. Raising a child can be profoundly intimidating in both scope and cost. When I decided to research cloth I was amazed at the range of prices that somehow were labeled "affordable." Sure, even if you purchase 30 of the fancy designer diapers and the matching accessories package you will not be even close to the price of disposable diapers, but a couple hundred dollars is quite the upfront investment.
After trying many, many different types and brands of diapers and reviewing their pros and cons as well as price, I can recommend whole-heartedly, an affordable cloth diaper solution.
Since I am the great combination of frugal and lazy you will get a two-for-one here.
Okay, down to brass tacks ... prefold diapers and good quality one size diaper covers for around $125.
There it is, my affordable cloth diaper option, diaper birth to potty for less than the cost of 6 months of disposables.
Oh, so you would like more details? Well, I guess we can delve deeper into the mystery that is cloth diapering on a budget.
For one baby you can usually get by with about 24 diaper changes worth of diapers and do laundry every other day. As baby grows you will need less diapers daily and could decrease to laundry every 3 days. To purchase 24 premium size prefolds (these will get you all the way to potty time) will run you anywhere from $2-6 per diaper. One size Diaper Covers (the waterproof layer) can be from $6-$25 a piece and I would recommend 6-10. While you need to wash your absorbent layers every time diaper covers can be reused for multiple changes before they need to be washed. Just wipe any liquid off and hang to dry near your changing station. I tend to get those covers into the wash routine if they have come into contact with poop or if I know I haven't washed it in 3 days. A sturdy wetbag will help in storing the dirty diapers awaiting a wash, diaper liners, and 2 dozen cloth wipes will make changes a snap. Cloth diaper safe detergent and a clothes line round out the group.
Okay, for those playing along at home:
24 prefold diapers ($48-144)
6-10 one size covers ($36-250)
1 wetbag ($10-25)
24 cloth wipes ($25 or free if you have some old cotton fabric or baby wash cloths laying around)
diaper liners ($10 for 100 liner roll of disposable or some fleece/cotton fabric mentioned)
detergent (less than $0.32 per load)
clothesline (grab some at a discount store for an easy $1 investment)
Total birth to potty cost will include water and detergent costs which I am not going to estimate here. You may also choose to purchase a pail liner and other accessories as you continue your journey, but we are talking basics.
But, to get you a baseline for the tangible purchases: $95-455
With prefolds there are tips and tricks to fold the diapers to best fit baby as they grow. I practiced folding the diapers several ways using a curious george stuffed animal we had lying around the house. When baby is quite small you may chose to fold the diaper to add a small pocket at the rear for those messy up the back newborn poops. We know back is best, but we want to be sure everything stays in the diaper not on our playmat!
Setting up your changing station with diapers folded and inserted into the covers can add efficiency as well as placing a wipe or two inside the diaper so you aren't looking for things when gross strikes. I liked to fold the diapers right out of the dryer and have them set up for the next day. Save an extra prefold to double stuff your night time diaper if you have a heavy wetter overnight.
With six covers you can have them all stuffed and ready for the day. As you change one diaper you can wipe out the cover and hang it near the table, usually by the time you change the next diaper the previous cover is dry and can be paired with a new prefold. We had a window in our nursery so the curtain rod often became the cover drying rack.
Urine soaked prefolds can be removed from baby and placed directly into the wetbag to await wash day. If I recall my baby math correctly, as soon as you change a barely wet diaper that is when baby will poop. Prefolds with breastmilk poop require no extra work and can also be placed directly into the wetbag (I did like to rinse these in the toilet though, especially if baby had a cold or particularly colorful poop, because i worried about stains). If you are dealing with real kid poop, if you don't know what the difference is, you soon will :), you need to take the prefold to the toilet and get all that poo where it belongs. For an indepth (pardon the pun) explanation of this see my Cloth Diaper Care Part One. Once the prefold is properly rinsed it can join the others in the wetbag. Any covers that get messy should also be rinsed in the toilet and added to the bag.
On wash day follow the routine from Cloth Diaper Care Part Two, prefolds are pretty easy since they are only the absorbent layer without snaps or other materials to worry about. A good quality prefold can be prewashed on cold, long wash on warm/hot, and double rinsed hundreds of times before it needs to be replaced. If you have issues with a lingering smell on on them 1/4 cup of white vinegar can be added to the rinse once a month or so. Good quality covers can be machine washed with the diapers or you can handwash.
Once the load is washed it is time to decide if you plan to use a dryer. Prefolds will be softer and fluffier out the the dryer, but do not use dryer sheets as these can leave residue that can cause a decrease in absorbency. Covers and wetbags should be line dried whenever possible. These dry very quickly. If you have a sunny day get those prefolds out there as sunlight is a fantastic solution to remove stains and get them smelling like a fresh spring day. Beware of putting your fanciest covers and wetbags in the sun as the designs are prone to fading.
Once everything is clean its back to the beginning again. Keep in mind, the more diapers you have the less often they will be used and washed, which can contribute to a longer diaper lifespan. In addition, the longer diapers wait to be washed the more opportunity for stains to set in and smells to linger. Diapers are sold with care guides, so be sure to check those so that you do not inadvertently void a manufacturer warranty with your diaper routine.
No joke, this is the very basic version of cloth diapering I have attempted. If you are truly frugal, you are likely less lazy than me, you may be able to make your own flat style diapers out of old shirts and sew some diaper covers on your own, saving even more. The reality is that alternatives to disposable diapers are endless as long as you remember to have someplace for urine and feces to go and a way to keep it from getting on everything else. I applaud you for taking the first step and would appreciate your tips and feedback on my affordable cloth diaper option.
I am a highly opinionated and sassy mother of three and wife to one. I hope you enjoy reading about my efforts to tackle the infuriating obstacles of life using straight talk and humor. If I say it, I mean it, or maybe I am being sarcastic. I like to focus on topics from my everyday life: parenting, cooking, crocheting, and a whole list of other things that inspire my rage.